Edited Press Release
Smarty Jones S. runner-up Petrov breezed four furlongs in :48 over Oaklawn Park’s fast main track on Saturday ahead of an expected rematch with Smarty Jones winner Uncontested in the February 20 Southwest Stakes (G3).
Uncontested was caught breezing a half-mile in :48.40 on Friday at Oaklawn for trainer Wayne Catalano.
Facing temperatures in the low 30s, Petrov worked from the half-mile pole to the wire in company with three-year-old maiden Trading Cash. Petrov, on the outside under Greta Kuntzweiler, started about a length behind Trading Cash and finished heads up with his stablemate.
Clockers caught the colt’s final quarter-mile in :23.20 and his five-furlong gallop out in 1:00.60.
“It was just what I needed,” co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett said. “It was just a maintenance breeze and that will set us up perfectly for the next one.”
Petrov, in his two-turn debut, was beaten 5 1/4 lengths by Uncontested in the one-mile Smarty Jones under Jose Ortiz. Moquett said the New York-based Ortiz will ride Petrov in the 1 1/16-mile Southwest.
In other Southwest news, trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said Saturday morning that Smarty Jones third-placer Rowdy the Warrior is under consideration for the Southwest and a first-level allowance race.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas revealed Friday morning that he was leaning toward the Southwest for Warrior’s Club, fourth in the Smarty Jones.
Trainer Brad Cox said Chief Know It All is under consideration to make his stakes bow in the Southwest after a front-running two-length victory in Friday’s 8TH race at Oaklawn, a first-level allowance/optional claimer.
Under Joe Rocco Jr., Chief Know It All was trying two turns for the first while running a mile over the fast track in 1:38.93.
“He fought to win,” Cox said Saturday morning. “He’s a very hard-trying horse. He’s had some rough trips.”
Cox said he believes Chief Know It All would have cleared his first allowance condition in an October 30 sprint at Churchill Downs, but the colt was bumped, blocked and altered course in the stretch and finished a closing third. The trainer added that the colt also ran a troubled third in his last start as a two-year-old, a first-level allowance/optional claimer going a mile on November 26 at Churchill Downs. The winner of that race, Guest Suite, returned to capture the Lecomte Stakes (G3) last Saturday at Fair Grounds.
“He’s got some ability and talent,” Cox said of Chief Know It All, who broke his maiden by 10 1/2 lengths last August. “It almost looks like he gets himself in a little bit of a tight spot sometimes. Yesterday going down the backside the first thing I thought was, ‘OK, well, we don’t have to worry about getting shut off.’ So it worked out well. Joe did a good job, and we talked it over – warm him up good and put him in the race.”
Cox added that Arklow, fourth as a maiden in the Lecomte, will be nominated to the Southwest but more than likely will remain at Fair Grounds and possibly target the February 25 Risen Star Stakes (G3).